Our mission to Hanmer Springs was more about cache placing & maintenance. We’ve got 11 caches there now. We usually visit a couple of times a year, so to be honest, the Hanmer caches probably get more regular maintenance visits than some of our local caches!
Hanmer is the only ‘resort’ type place that we go. usually we avoid places with lots of people when we’re on holiday. But Hanmer never seems like there’s alot of people there – because most of them are hidden away inside at the Hot Pools, and we’re out in the forest or on the back roads. We have our little routines about what we do in Hanmer usually and one of my favourite things to do there is go to the local pond each morning. After a visit to the bakery we usually head around there to eat our breakfast, and to feed the ducks! We’ve got a cache there, of course. It’s even in one of these photos – perhaps. Feed the Ducks GC20A1D
We had two caches in Hanmer this trip that we wanted to do – well, the only two caches that were new since our last trip. One is an Earthcache, but it needed us to go to the Hot Pools, which we didn’t quite get to on this trip.
The other was a short multi in the grounds of the Queen Mary Hospital. This hospital is not used anymore and is semi-derelict – with just a few parts of it being used by various groups. The grounds are absolutely beautiful at this time of year as there are lots of deciduous trees, so being a bit of an autumn freak I really enjoyed my walk around the area. The cache itself didn’t make the most of the features of the grounds, but it was still good to have a cache to do. This was also where we discovered the chestnuts, and where we now know there are two different types of chestnut trees!!
Queen Mary Hospital has had a varied career – first starting as a sanatorium for people ‘taking the waters’ at Hanmer Springs, then as a rehabilitation hospital for returned soldiers with post traumatic conditions. Before it closed it was a centre for alcohol & drug rehab, with special programmes for Maori & youth.
We also placed three new caches while we were here – my favourite one was near the Acheron Accommodation house . This is an old historic cob building – the only one remaining of seven accommodation house built along an early route between Hanmer and points north. The Molesworth Station that this building is located in is managed by the Crown with the Department of Conservation & Landcorp Farming both having a roll in the use of the land, so conservation and are both important to the land & landscape in this area. Although my all time favourite landscape is our West Coast bush, my close second is the tussocky hills of the New Zealand high country. The barren looking landscape is so different to the bush, but it has its own stark beauty that appeals to me some how.
Well, the photos haven’t behaved as I wanted for this entry – but I get that sometimes! I think you still get the idea, and you can see them bigger if you click on them anyway.